Paper 2 – Polity
Why You Should Know?
Recently, the Supreme Court directed that the police should take immediate action suo motu without waiting for complaints to take action against hate speech.
In detail –
- Justice K.M. Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy ordered the police and officials that if any officer is found guilty of complying with this directive, it will be considered contempt of the Supreme Court.
- The court directed that first information reports (FIRs) should be registered and criminal proceedings should be initiated against the makers of hate speeches “irrespective of their religion so as to preserve the secular character of the country”.
- The interim directions were mainly for the police of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
- The court issued notices to the three states asking them to submit a report on the action taken on cases of hate speech.
What is hate speech?
- There is no specific legal definition of ‘hate speech’.
- The provisions in the law cover speeches , writings, actions, signs and expressions that incite violence and spread disharmony between communities and groups.
- The Law Commission of India, in its 267threport, has said, “Hate speech is generally a provocation for hatred against a group of persons defined in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief and the like… Thus hate speech is any written or spoken word, a sign that by listening or seeing a person creates a sense of fear in him or having the intention to incite him to violence .
- In general, hate speech is considered a limitation on free speech that attempts to prevent or restrict speech highlighting hatred, violence, ridicule, or outrage to an individual or group or class of society.
- Sections 153A and 505 of the Indian Penal Code are generally referred to as the main penal provisions, which provide for punishment for ‘hate speech’, and which deal with inflammatory speeches and expressions.
- Under Section 153A:
- Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc. and acting inimical to maintain harmony, is an offence punishable with imprisonment of three years.
- If this hate speech is committed to a place of worship, or a gathering engaged in religious worship or religious ceremonies, then the punishment can be of five years duration.
- Section 505 of the IPC criminalises “statements contributing to public mischief”.
- Under section 505(1), any of the following statements, publications, reports or rumours shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years which:
- which promotes insurgency by the armed forces,
- or cause such fear or excitement by which people are led to commit crimes against the state or public peace;
- or inciting any class or community to commit an offence against another class or community.
- Under 505(2), it is an offence to make statements causing or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes.
- Under sub-section (3), the same offence provides for a jail term of up to five years if it takes place in a place of worship, or in a gathering engaged in religious worship or religious ceremonies.
Constitutional provisions –
- Article 19 of the Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and expression to all citizens of India.
- Provided that this freedom is subject to certain restrictions such as sovereignty and integrity of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality or contempt of court, defamation or incitement to any offence, freedom of speech and expression shall not be deemed to be.
Source – TH
Quality Council of India
Paper 3 – Economy
Why You Should Know?
Recently, the new Chairman of the Quality Council of India was appointed by the Central Government, let’s know what is the Quality Council of India?
In detail –
- The Quality Council of India (QCI) was established in the year 1997 as a representative of the Government of India and Indian industry by three major industry associations which include:
- Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM)
- Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)
- Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)
- QCI is a non-profit organization registered under the Societies Registration Act XXI of the year 1860.
- The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry was designated as the nodal point for all matters related to quality and QCI so that the Cabinet decision could help in its structure and implementation.
- It gives a policy direction to the quality campaign in the country by establishing a conformity assessment system which has been recognized internationally with the objective of enhancing the quality competitiveness of Indian products and services.
- QCI has been established to create a mechanism of independent third party evaluation of products, services and processes.
- It plays an important role in promoting, complying with and maintaining quality standards of education, health, environmental protection, governance, social sectors, infrastructure sector and other such important organized activities along with improving the standard of living of Indian citizens at the national level.
- A 38-member council governs the QCI, which is responsible for strategies, formulating common policies and monitoring various components, including accreditation boards.
- The Council ensures transparency and reliability throughout the system
- The Chairman of QCI is appointed by the Prime Minister on the basis of the recommendation made by the industry.
- Recently, Mr. Jaxay Shah, former Chairman, CREDAI and Founder Chairman, Savvy Group has been appointed as the new Chairman of Quality Council of India (QCI) for a period of three years with effect from October 21, 2022.
Promoting quality culture
- It is noteworthy that the Government of India is committed to propagating the culture of quality and promoting manufacturing.
- Under this, emphasis is being laid on making such products and implementing manufacturing processes that do not have any defects and have minimal impact on the environment.
- Thus, the main objective of the Quality Council of India is to establish and operate a National Certification Framework and to promote quality through the National Quality Campaign.
- In the last 25 years, QCI has created various boards such as NABL, NABH, NABCB, NABET and NBQP to handle the functions of accreditation and quality enhancement.
- As per the mandate given to it by the government, QCI began to enter the global scene and established membership with forums and organisations that decided how business and business were to operate in a global environment.
- QCI and NABL became members of IAF and ILAC respectively and later members of regional bodies like APAC and APLAC. This ensured worldwide parity of the outcomes of economic activities related to quality assurance in India.
- The real increase in third-party evaluations in schemes announced by the government came after the year 2015, when the government increasingly started relying on organisations like QCI to provide a level of independent response without fear or favour through recognised organisations within the ambit of QCI.
- Several government departments have now framed rules for testing, inspection and certification to be carried out by NABL and NABCB accredited organisations.
- This is a major change in the country’s policy where third party agencies have been given the responsibility to collect and analyse data and fill the gaps in the implementation of various schemes for the welfare of common people and quality of life of citizens.
Gunvatta Se Atmanirbharta
- To celebrate the journey of quality and excellence that India is putting full emphasis on, QCI has launched a big campaign- Gunvatta Se Atmanirbharta: India’s Quality Movement.
- The quality-driven campaign aims to celebrate India’s quality centres, awareness of India’s historic achievements and inform people about those many initiatives,
- Which India is adopting with the aim of enhancing the quality of life of all its citizens. The quality movement was launched under the silver jubilee programme.
- It is worth mentioning that recently (October 2022), the Quality Council of India (QCI) also celebrated its Silver Jubilee
Sources – Livemint
Pakistan out of FATF’s grey list
Paper 2 – International Issues
Why You Should Know?
Recently, the International Monitoring Agency has removed Pakistan from the gray list.
In detail –
- Pakistan was listed in June 2018 due to “strategic counter terrorist financing-related deficiencies”.
- At that time, the FATF considered the wrong funding of terrorism, irregularities, lack of investigation, money laundering in non-governmental institutions as a major threat to the world’s financial system.
- The FATF had earlier asked Pakistan to work on 27 points. These points were then increased to 34 and then to 40.
- The monitoring agency claims that Pakistan has improved its problem of terror funding and money laundering.
- Due to being in the fatf’s gray list, Pakistan was not getting support from banks and other institutions.
- Coming to the grey list was costing Pakistan more than $ 10 billion every year.
What is the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)?
- The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is commonly referred to as the “terrorism financing watchdog” of the world.
- Which means that it is the author and custodian of an international regime that works to ensure that funds flow into the global financial system are not being misused to fund terrorist activities.
- FATF describes itself as an intergovernmental body.
- which works to “set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system”.
- The body was established in 1989 by the countries of the G7 group in Paris, the capital of France.
Which countries are kept in the grey-list
- The FATF places the countries on the “grey list” that it closely monitors.
- In short, these are countries that, in fatf’s assessment, have failed to curb international money laundering and terrorist financing, and are, therefore , on the global watch list for bad behaviour.
Which countries are currently on the grey list?
- As of October 21, Pakistan was the most important country on the list. After Pakistan was removed from the list along with Nicaragua, 23 countries are under surveillance.
- These countries are the Philippines, Syria, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, Uganda, Morocco, Jamaica, Cambodia, Burkina Faso and South Sudan and tax havens in Barbados, Cayman Islands and Panama.
Disadvantages of being named in the gray list
- The decision to keep a country in the grey list or not is taken by the International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG), an organization of FATF.
- The grey list includes countries that are lax in curbing money laundering and financial support to terrorist groups.
- After joining the gray list, there are economic restrictions on any country, that country stops getting help from financial institutions such as IMF, World Bank.
Source – IE
“Sitrang” cyclonic storm
Paper 1 – Geography
Why You Should Know?
Recently, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said that the first tropical cyclone of the 2022 post-monsoon season is likely to form in the Bay of Bengal on October 24.
In detail –
- If it becomes a cyclone, it will be the first cyclone to develop in the Bay of Bengal in October since 2018 and will be known by the name “Sitrang” given by Thailand.
- The last October cyclone in the Bay of Bengal was “Titli” in 2018 .
- The Odisha and Bengal governments have started the work of evacuating people from the coastal areas in view of the threat of the storm.
- The Meteorological Department said that heavy rains may occur in Odisha next week. This possibility has been created by the effect of Sitarang storm.
- The cyclone is likely to move closer to Odisha towards West Bengal and Bangladesh.
- In view of the possible threat, the Bengal and Odisha governments have started the work of sending people from low-lying areas of many districts to safer places.
- According to IMD, the weather system is currently located as a low pressure area in north Andaman Sea and adjoining areas. It is likely to move northwards and intensify into a cyclonic storm on October 24.
- It is then likely to move northeastwards and cross Odisha coast on October 25 to reach West Bengal Bangladesh coast.
- It is very likely to cross Bangladesh and adjoining West Bengal coasts around midnight of October 25.
Origin of cyclone
- Warm and moist air rises in the sea. As the hot air rises, the air below decreases.
- This creates a low pressure area in that place. While the pressure around this area is high.
- Now the air from the surrounding areas draws rapidly towards the low pressure area.
- Then this air reaches there and becomes hot and it also rises up after getting hot. And thus it starts a cycle.
- As the hot air rises up, it cools down and condenses into clouds. This whole system of wind and clouds rotates and grows.
- Slowly this whole system of wind and cloud rotates more rapidly, forming an eye in its center. The weather inside the eye is generally calm and devoid of clouds, although the sea can be extremely violent.
- When this system rotates at a speed of 63 kilometers per hour, it is called a “tropical storm”.
- When the wind speed reaches 116 to 119 kilometers per hour it is called a storm, thunderstorm, severe tropical cyclone, or severe cyclonic storm.
Types of Cyclones
There are two types of cyclones depending on the region of origin:
- (1) tropical cyclone
- (2) Extratropical cyclone or temperate cyclone
Tropical Cyclones –
- These are airplants or storms, which are intense in the tropics and ordinary in other places.
- They receive abundant rainfall. They range in diameter from 50 to 1,000 miles and have a relatively low air pressure area.
- They run at velocities ranging from 20 to 30 miles per hour.
- In these, air rotation ranges from 90 to 130 miles per hour.
- They are called hurricanes in the West Indies and typhons in the China Sea and the Philippines, tornadoes in the Americas and Willie Willies in Australia.
Temperate cyclones –
- It is a low air pressure storm of mid and high latitudes. Its velocity runs spirally at a velocity of 20 to 30 miles per hour. It often causes snow and rain.
- Both types of cyclones transmit counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere.
- In a tropical cyclone, there is a simple air-channel line, which extends hundreds of miles in the lower center towards the equator and separates hot and moist air from cold and dry air.
- Usually the names of storms are placed in alphabetical order. The naming of cyclones for the Indian Ocean region began in 2000 and a formula was agreed upon in 2004.
- There are eight countries in the region — Thailand, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Oman, Myanmar, Maldives, Bangladesh and India — that name a cyclonic storm in view of its arrival.
- The list was expanded in 2018 and added five other countries in the north Indian Ocean region – Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Yemen.
- According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) guidelines, countries in every region have to give names for cyclones.
- The north Indian Ocean region comprises 13 countries – Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen, where cyclonic storms hit the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. situation is created.
Sources – IE
Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban Awards 2021
Paper 2 – Social Justice
Why You Should Know?
Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban Awards 2021 at the Indian Urban Housing Conclave held in Rajkot, Gujarat .
In detail –
- In the awards, Uttar Pradesh bagged the first position, followed by Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu respectively.
- Gujarat received five special category awards for performances related to “Affordable Rental Housing Complex” and “Convergence with Other Missions”
- Madhya Pradesh received three special category awards, followed by Jammu and Kashmir, which was adjudged the ‘Best Performing Union Territory’ along with Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.
- Odisha has been awarded the prestigious PMAY-U Awards 2021 for best policy initiative under a special category by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).
- In the special category award, Madhya Pradesh co-won with Gujarat in best state for convergence, jharkhand and Arunachal pradesh in best state for conducting IEC activity and uttar pradesh and gujarat in best performing SLTC.
What is Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban)?
- Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Housing for All (Urban) Missions for Urban Area is being implemented during 2015-2022 .
- The mission will cover all eligible families/families by 2022. Provides central assistance supplementary agencies through states and UTs to provide houses to beneficiaries.
- As per Census 2011 , all statutory towns and subsequently notified statutory towns will be eligible for coverage under the mission.
- The mission has been implemented as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS)
- It is being implemented under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Government of India.
- It is further implemented by urban local bodies, development authorities, housing boards etc. which are applicable to the State Government/Government. selected by THE SLSMC.
The Mission targets the housing requirement of the urban poor, including slum dwellers, through the following programme verticals :
- Rehabilitation of slum dwellers with the participation of private developers using land as a resource.
- Promotion of affordable housing for the weaker section through credit linked subsidy.
- affordable housing in partnership with the public and private sectors.
- Beneficiary-led individual house construction/construction subsidy for growth.
- The government is providing an interest subsidy of 6.5% on housing loans which can be availed by beneficiaries up to 15 years from the date of commencement of the loan date .
- The government will give a grant of Rs 1 lakh to all the beneficiaries of the scheme.
- Besides, Rs 1.5 lakh will be given to all eligible urban poor who want to build their houses in urban areas or are planning renovations in their existing houses.
- Loans can also be availed under this scheme to build toilets in existing houses.
Source – IE
Increasing waste pollution in Space
Paper 3 – Science and Technology, Environment
Why You Should Know?
Recently, researchers told in one of their research that climate change is increasing the pollution of waste in space.
In detail –
- There is many evidence that the climate of the upper atmosphere is changing. While the temperature is increasing at lower levels, the effect of which is visible on the middle and upper atmosphere.
- Rising levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth’s atmosphere will lead to a long-term decline in air density at very high altitudes, according to new research from the British Antarctic Survey.
- Such a decreasing density will reduce the stretch on objects orbiting in the upper atmosphere between 90 and 500 km altitude, increasing the lifetime of debris in space and increasing the risk of colliding between debris and satellites.
- Satellites are more likely to hit debris in space due to low density in the upper atmosphere.
- As people become more dependent on satellites for navigation systems, mobile communications and Earth monitoring, if satellites costing billions of dollars are damaged, there could be a major problem of hitting them.
- As of March 2021, there were about 5,000 active and passive satellites at an altitude of 2,000 km in low Earth orbit. This number had increased by 50 per cent in the last two years.
- Various companies plan to add thousands more in the next decade. Once their work is over, satellites keep going into orbit but move slowly due to atmospheric stretch, reducing their orbital height until they burn in the lower atmosphere.
- Satellite operators ensure that dormant satellites are removed within 25 years, but mistakes are occurring in planning and calculations of low atmospheric densities, according to the current guideline set by the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee.
- Unlike the lower atmosphere, the middle and upper atmospheres have been colder. This leads to a drop in density with practical implications for pulling on objects such as service-free satellites and space mission-related debris at those altitudes.
- The lifetime of these objects increases with less drag, the objects remain in orbit longer and are more prone to colliding with active satellites as well as other space debris.
- Ingrid Consen, an independent researcher at NERC in the British Antarctic Survey, used global models of the entire atmosphere up to 500 km altitude to simulate changes in the upper atmosphere by 2070.
- They compared their estimates to data from the past 50 years and found that even under a future medium emission scenario the decline in estimated average cold and upper atmosphere densities continues at about twice the speed in the past.
- According to the European Space Agency, there are more than 30,000 trackable debris fragments with a diameter of more than 10 cm and one million pieces of debris greater than 1 cm in low Earth orbit.
- The charged part of the upper atmosphere is also projected to change due to increasing amounts of CO2, but also due to changes in the Earth’s magnetic field.
- Understanding the distribution of electrons in the ionosphere is important to correct the errors they calculate satellite-based sea level measurements used for climate monitoring.
- The largest changes in electron counts may occur in South America, the southern Atlantic Ocean, and western Africa.
- Further studies monitor these changes and work to control for impacts on satellite-based data experiments, the study advised.
Pesticides cause 60% deaths in India
Paper 2 – Health
Why You Should Know?
A recent ‘Pesticide Atlas 2022’ report said that 60 per cent of pesticide poisoning deaths occur in India.
In detail –
- The increasing use of pesticides for increasing profits is giving rise to new threats. It is estimated that this poison used in the fields is killing more than 11 thousand people every year.
- About 60 per cent of these deaths occur in India. Not only this, this pesticide is also the cause of 38.5 million people falling ill worldwide.
- According to the Pesticide Atlas, most of the 385 million people who have fallen ill due to the use of these pesticides worldwide were recorded in Asia.
- At the same time, more than 100 million cases were reported in Africa and 16 lakh in Europe.
- In South Asia alone, more than 180 million people are falling ill every year due to this, while this pesticide is the cause of death of 9,401 people here.
- Referring to the death of 23 children in Bihar due to these pesticides, the report said that these children died within minutes of eating rice and potato vegetables.
- This food was given to them under the mid-day meal prepared to fight against malnutrition. Forensic examination of this food had revealed that the oil in which this food was cooked contained pesticide monocrotophos, which was the cause of death of these children.
- Today, there is evidence of pesticides not only in our fields but also in food, fruits, vegetables, honey. Not only this, this poison has dissolved from our body to air, water, environment. Not only humans, other creatures are also not safe from this poison.
- A joint investigation by Unearth and Public Eye has revealed that the world’s five largest pesticide makers are earning about a third of their income by selling harmful pesticides.
- Which is a serious threat to the environment and health. These agrochemical giants include BASF, Bayer , Corteva, FMC and Syngenta.
- If seen, well-known companies around the world are also promoting GM farming with pesticides, which are dependent on these pesticides.
- In particular, these companies are selling their products in countries where the rules and regulations are not as stringent. But if seen, these countries are particularly rich in terms of biodiversity.
- According to the report, Indian farmers in 2018 are spending 37 per cent more money per hectare on pesticides than they used to before GM cotton was introduced in 2002.
- It is learnt that these companies are selling their highly harmful pesticides (HHPs) mostly in developing countries. According to the analysis, HHP accounted for about 59 per cent of the total pesticides sold by these companies in India.
- Given the impact on the environment and health in Europe, pesticides that are not allowed to be used are not only being made in developed countries like Europe but are also being exported to other countries.
- Many European companies are also involved in this business. In such a situation, the politics behind these double standards needs to be understood.
- Agriculture in many other countries of the world, including India, is largely dependent on these pesticides, including large quantities of pesticides whose excessive use and misuse can cause huge damage to the health of humans, animals, bio-diversity and the environment.
Lessons from Sikkim
- It is not only the responsibility of the Government. People and farmers also have to be aware about this.
- For the past few decades, farmers have been pushing for the use of large quantities of commercial pesticides to increase yields. But it is not only a threat to health and environment but is also causing huge damage to the fields.
- In such a situation, it is necessary to curb the increasing use of these harmful pesticides. Also, promoting organic farming can be a good option.
- Apart from organic farming and natural pesticides, there are some pests that are more effective than these pesticides in preventing pests in crops. But despite this, even today the governments are not paying much attention to it.
- A good aspect for India is that many states in the country are now promoting organic farming by stopping the use of pesticides.
- Sikkim, a small state of the country, has a big role to play in this. This is the first region in the world where organic farming has been fully adopted.
- This is a huge achievement for a country where for decades a large part of agriculture has been completely dependent on the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.
Source – DE
Jim Corbett National Park
Paper 3 – Environment
Why You Should Know?
The National Green Tribunal recently told uttarakhand forest officials that it will direct the Central government to form a committee to probe the matter of “illegal tree felling” in Jim Corbett National Park.
In detail –
- The National Green Tribunal took cognisance of the Forest Survey of India (FSI) report on felling of trees in Corbett Tiger Reserve.
- Over 6,000 trees were illegally felled to facilitate the Pakhru Tiger Safari project in the tiger reserve, the Forest Survey of India (FSI) report was quoted as saying.
- The case of illegal felling of thousands of trees in Corbett was also highlighted by Gaurav Bansal, a Delhi-based environmental activist and lawyer. Bansal later complained to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) in which he alleged that 10,000 trees have been cut in the protected area.
- Taking cognisance of the complaint, the state had asked the FSI to access the number of trees that fell in the designated area inside the tiger reserve.
- After compiling reports on Pakhru block, Kalushahid block, Nalkhatta block and Kalagarh block in about 9 months, the FSI has made an observation that the area cleared under CTR is estimated to be 16.21 hectares (hectares).
- Meanwhile, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Head of Forest Force Vinod Singhal admitted that the FSI found that 6,421 trees were cut illegally.
- Spread over 500 sq km, CTR is home to 230 tigers and has the world’s highest tiger density — 14 tigers per hundred square kilometres.
- Former Uttarakhand forest minister Harak Singh Rawat had laid the foundation stone of the Pakhro Tiger Safari to be operated in the Pakhro area of Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR) in Lansdowne area of Pauri Garhwal.
- Spread over an area of 106 hectares, when completed, it will be the state’s first tiger safari with tigers in enclosures to ensure “100% vision”.
About Jim Corbett National Park
- Jim Corbett National Park is the oldest national park in India and was established in 1936 as Hanley National Park to protect the endangered Bengal tiger.
- It is located near Ramnagar town in Nainital district of Uttarakhand and was named after Jim Corbett who played a key role in its establishment.
- It is situated in the Patlidoon valley of Ramganga
- This was the first park to come under the Project Tiger initiative.
- This country is such an sanctuary in which many species of wild animals as well as birds are also abundant.
- Here lions, elephants, bears, tigers, pigs, deer, chital, sambhar, panda, kakad, nilgai, ghural and cheetah etc. are found in large numbers. Similarly, pythons and many types of snakes also live in this forest.
National Green Tribunal
- National Green Tribunal has been established in India by the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010.
- On October 18, 2010, the National Green Tribunal was set up under the Act for effective and expeditious disposal of matters relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources, including enforcement of legal rights relating to environment and grant of assistance and compensation for loss of persons and property or matters connected therewith or connected therewith.
- It is a specialized body equipped with the expertise required to handle environmental disputes having multi-disciplinary problems.
- This Authority shall not be bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure (CPC), 1908, but shall be guided by the principles of natural justice.
- The tribunal’s dedicated jurisdiction in environmental matters will provide speedy environmental justice and help in reducing the burden of litigation in the High Courts.
- The Tribunal has been entrusted with the task of attempting disposal of applications or appeals within six months of their receipt.
- The main venue of the tribunal meeting will be New Delhi as well as Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai will be the other four venues of the tribunal meetings.
Sources – TH
Great Indian Bustard
Paper 3 – Biodiversity
Why You Should Know?
The existence of the Great Indian Bustards, also known as Son chiriya(Bird), is in danger across the country. Environmental activists have said that they may migrate to Pakistan due to their shrinking habitat, where they are under widespread threat.
In detail –
- The recent sighting of three Great Indian Bustards (GIBs) in Pakistan’s Cholistan Desert has given rise to the perception that endangered birds may have migrated across the international border from India’s Desert National Park (DNP).
- GIB in Pakistan are seriously endangered due to lack of security and rampant poaching.
- It is believed that due to the movement in the long area, they often reach Pakistan, where they are hunted for meat.
About The Great Indian Bustards –
- The Great Indian Bustard or Son Bird is one of the heaviest flying birds in the world, this bird is mainly found in the Indian subcontinent.
- Like an ostrich, GIB has a long neck, long bare legs. Their length is about one meter and weight is between 10 and 15 kg.
- GIB has the ability to fly at altitudes ranging from 20 to 100 meters.
- GIB was once the pride of The States of Punjab , Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, including Uttar Pradesh, today it has been reduced to Rajasthan, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
- The GIB, which is the state bird of Rajasthan, is also considered india’s most critically endangered bird and is protected under the Wildlife Protection Act.
- About 150 people in Rajasthan make up 95% of the world’s population.
- In 2019, the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in association with the Wildlife Institute of India Dehradun has launched a programme for conservation of the Great Indian Bustard
- During the British period, due to indiscriminate hunting, the number of GIB started decreasing. Due to this existential crisis, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources has placed GIB in the Red Data Book of threatened species.
- Infact, today this crisis has deepened because the grasslands considered to be their main habitats have started shrinking.
- The lack of Direct Vision ability of GIB has also proved fatal for it. They are also having unnatural deaths by colliding with electric wires.
- If they continue to die at this rate, there is a fear of GIB’s complete demise in the near future.
- Another reason for their declining numbers is a low fertility, the average lifespan of the Great Indian Bustard is 15 or 16 years and the reproductive age of the male Great Indian Bustard is 4 to 5 years, while for the female it is 3 to 4 years.
- A female Great Indian Bustard lays only one egg in 1 to 2 years and the survival rate of the chick coming out of it is 60%-70%.
- The GIB was added to the World List of Protected Species of the ‘Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals’ during its 13thconference in Gandhinagar in 2020. Pakistan is a signatory to the Conference of parties (COP).
Sources – TH